East Palestine residents upset about delays at Norfolk Southern Assistance Center
Some East Palestine residents are upset after being turned away at the assistance center opened by Norfolk Southern Railroad.
Several of them called 21 News in the last few days expressing their frustration.
They tell us Norfolk Southern needs to add staff so that people forced from their homes can be reimbursed in a timely manner.
“This is the fifth day in a row that we’ve come to try and cash receipts,” said Jami Coza. “We’ve been told it’s a six hour wait. We’ve been told it’s at capacity and they are not letting anyone else in, or we’ve been told they’re out of tickets.”
Coza said within an hour of opening they’re out of tickets which guarantees people a spot for the day.
She pointed out that Norfolk Southern had the rail line back open carrying trains even before some people had time to get back into their homes.
Norfolk Southern opened the Family Assistance Center at the East Palestine Park Community Center two days after the derailment.
To date, the railroad says more than 700 families and a number of businesses have been helped, with more than $1 million distributed to families to cover costs related to the evacuation. Those include reimbursements and cash advancements for lodging, travel, food, clothes, and other related items.
Norfolk Southern says it is in the process of contacting and meeting with affected local businesses to provide aid. To date, more than 30 businesses have been contacted.